Have you ever thought about what you want to do in your later decades of life and how you plan to achieve it? Dr. Peter Attia, a Stanford-trained physician, encourages his patients to focus on their healthspan and jolt them out of the human tendency to choose immediate gratification over future gains. The idea is to help people refocus their attention on their health and wellbeing. Dr. Attia’s new book, Outlive, which is currently number one on the New York Times non-fiction bestseller list, argues that we have the potential to live longer and better. He believes we can go to our deathbeds having lived fully to the end.
Exercise – the most potent anti-aging drug
How do we achieve this? Of the various ways we can delay the deterioration of our brain and body, many of which Attia explores in his book, he says the most potent longevity “drug” is exercise.
“The data are unambiguous: exercise not only delays actual death but also prevents both cognitive and physical decline, better than any other intervention.”
While we know that exercise is crucial for our wellbeing, many people struggle to achieve the recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week. According to Dr. Attia, if every one of us exercised for 30 minutes a day and maintained a healthy weight, we would be healthier and “probably add five years” to our life expectancy. But, he asks, what if we aimed for an extra 10 to 15 years of life at an exceptionally higher quality?
Strength, stability, aerobic efficiency, and peak aerobic capacity
To function as a healthy, fit 60-year-old when we’re 80, we have to break down “exercise” into its four most important parts: strength, stability, aerobic efficiency (your body’s ability to efficiently use oxygen), and peak aerobic capacity (also known as your VO2 Max – a measure of your ability to use oxygen). Strength is essential for supporting and protecting our bodies as we age, while stability is crucial to prevent injury. Aerobic fitness enhances our ability to enjoy our lives and powers our mitochondria, the little cellular engines that burn glucose and fat to provide us with energy.
Dr. Attia believes that exercise is the most effective way to extend our healthspan, and we should aim to create a lifelong exercise habit that supports our overall wellbeing. Instead of focusing solely on nutrition, Dr. Attia advocates for a balanced approach that prioritizes exercise, along with good sleep, stress management, and healthy relationships. By investing in our health and wellbeing, we can create a fulfilling and meaningful life, filled with joy, vitality, and adventure.
I’m injured, I can’t train
As we age, some things do get harder, and injuries do happen. However, reducing your exercise because of injury is not the solution. Our team are equipped with the tools to get you moving well. Which is absolutely crucial to optimal health.
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